Montana's Suicide Rates Improve Slightly - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Montana's Suicide Rates Improve Slightly

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BOZEMAN -

Montana has ranked third in the nation when it comes to people dying by suicide.

The Treasure State has ranked in the top five for last 30 years.

In 2010, 105 Americans died by suicide each day.

And for more than twenty years, suicide has been the 7th or 8th leading cause of death for Montanans, but it appears the numbers are improving.

Montana's suicide rate in 2010 was nearly 23 percent ranking the Treasure State third, compared to the national average which was only about 12 percent.

While those numbers do look grim, we should note those numbers are calculated on a per capita basis and with Montana's smaller population a few more suicides drive the rankings up.

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Spiritual Care Manager Ken Mottram said you can look for signs your loved one may be suicidal.

"Certainly previous suicide attempts are something that makes them at a higher risk," said Mottram. "There are people who start giving away possessions, maybe they have relationship disturbances, and they've isolated themselves from their family."

In Montana the most common way people commit suicide is by firearms.

Mottram says people choose to kill themselves to escape pain they are suffering.

"They just flat don't see a way out," sat Mottram. "And they think the only hope for them is to get away from the pain. End the pain."

Joan Nye of the Montana chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said the best thing they can do if they see someone they know in pain is ask.

"Ask them what's going on and not being afraid to ask are you thinking of suicide or thinking of killing yourself," said Nye.

In Gallatin County only thirteen people died by suicide last year.

The counties with the highest suicide rates are Roosevelt, Custer, Rosebud, Park Madison, Beaverhead, Dear Lodge, Silver Bow, Sanders and Lincoln Counties.

According the American Association of Suicidology, suicide rates are among the highest in veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and college students.

 

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